M3.7 and M3.1 Earthquakes Hit Right Below Mauna Loa Volcano, Earth Largest Volcano

On 2017-04-26 a M3.7 earthquake hit below Mauna Loa at a depth of 3.1 km. On 2017-04-27 a M3.1 hit at a depth of 3.7 km.

Both of these quakes hit below the upper southwest rift zone. The most recent eruption of the largest volcano in the world took place between March 24 – April 15, 1984.

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M3.7 and M3.1 earthquakes hit right below Mauna Loa in Hawaii on April 26-27 2017.

As described by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO): Mauna Loa Volcano is not erupting. but rates of deformation and seismicity remain above long-term background levels.

During the past week, small-magnitude earthquakes were recorded primarily beneath the upper southwest rift zone of the volcano, at depths up to 5 km (3 mi), and the east flank at depths of 5-13 km (3-8 miles).

A magnitude 3.7 earthquake occurred in the upper southwest rift zone on April 26. Followed by a M3.1 earthquake on April 27.

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Graphical seismicity recordings of when the earthquakes hit.

GPS measurements continue to show deformation related to inflation of a magma reservoir beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone.

No significant changes in volcanic gas emissions were measured.

Facts about Mauna Loa

Rising gradually to more than 4 km above sea level, Mauna Loa is the largest volcano on our planet. Its long submarine flanks descend to the sea floor an additional 5 km, and the sea floor in turn is depressed by Mauna Loa’s great mass another 8 km. Remember the volcanic eruptio of 1984:

This makes the volcano’s summit about 17 km (56,000 ft) above its base! The enormous volcano covers half of the Island of Hawai`i and by itself amounts to about 85 percent of all the other Hawaiian Islands combined.

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The map of Mauno Loa volcano on Hawaii.

Mauna Loa is among Earth’s most active volcanoes, having erupted 33 times since its first well-documented historical eruption in 1843. Its most recent eruption was in 1984. Mauna Loa is certain to erupt again.

Hawaiian Meaning

The Hawaiian name “Mauna Loa” means “Long Mountain.” This name is apt, for the subaerial part of Mauna Loa extends for about 120 km from the southern tip of the island to the summit caldera and then east-northeast to the coastline near Hilo.

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